First Prayer of St. Basil the Great
Orthodox Prayer Book
O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, source of life and immortality, Who art the
Author of all creation, visible and invisible, the equally everlasting and co-eternal
Son of the eternal Father, Who through the excess of Thy goodness didst in the last
days assume our flesh and wast crucified for us, ungrateful and ignorant as we were,
and didst cause through Thy own Blood the restoration of our nature which had been
marred by sin: O immortal King, accept the repentance even of me a sinner, and
incline Thine ear to me and hear my words. For I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned
against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to gaze on the height of Thy
glory; for I have provoked Thy goodness by transgressing Thy commandments and
not obeying Thy orders. But Thou, O Lord, in Thy forbearance, patience, and great
mercy, hast not given me up to be destroyed with my sins, but Thou awaitest my
complete conversion. For Thou, O Lover of men, hast said through Thy Prophet that
Thou desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he should return to Thee and
live. For Thou dost not will, O Lord, that the work of Thy hands should be destroyed,
neither dost Thou delight in the destruction of men, but Thou desirest that all
should be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. Therefore, though I am
unworthy both of heaven and earth, and even of this transient life, since I have
completely succumbed to sin and am a slave to pleasure and have defaced Thy
image, yet being Thy work and creation, wretch that I am, even I do not despair of
my salvation and dare to draw near to Thy boundless compassion. So receive even
me, O Christ Lover of men, as the harlot, as the thief, as the publican, and as the
prodigal; and take from me the heavy burden of my sins, Thou Who takest away the
sin of the world, Who healest men's sicknesses, Who callest the weary and heavy
laden to Thyself and givest them rest; for Thou camest not to call the righteous but
sinners to repentance. And purify me from all defilement of flesh and spirit. Teach
me to achieve perfect holiness in the fear of Thee, that with the clear witness of my
conscience I may receive the portion of Thy holy Things and be united with Thy holy
Body and Blood, and have Thee dwelling and remaining in me with the Father and
Thy Holy Spirit. And, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not the communion of Thy
immaculate and life-giving Mysteries be to me for condemnation nor let it make me
sick in body or soul through my partaking of them unworthily; but grant me till my
last breath to receive without condemnation the portion of Thy holy Things, for
communion with the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and as an acceptable
defense at Thy dread tribunal, so that I too with all Thy elect may become a
partaker of Thy pure joys which Thou hast prepared for those who love Thee, O Lord,
in whom Thou art glorified throughout the ages. Amen.